Opening of the WCO Regional Dog Training Centre in Budapest

26 November 2018

At the invitation of the National Tax and Customs Administration (NTCA) of Hungary, the WCO participated in the inaugural ceremony of the WCO Regional Dog Training Centre (RDTC) in Hungary on the occasion of a Sub-Regional Dog Handler Workshop held in Budapest from 14 to 16 November 2018. This is the thirteenth such RDTC to be accredited by the WCO.

On the second day of the Workshop, delegates from the following Customs administrations in the Europe region, namely Azerbaijan, Serbia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Russian Federation and Turkey, attended the RDTC inaugural ceremony.  Delegates also visited the RDTC facilities and were treated to demonstrations by detector dogs.

During their opening remarks, Mr. Kristof Peter Bakai, Deputy Director General of the NTCA of Hungary, and Mr. Oguz Onal, Acting Deputy Director, WCO Compliance and Facilitation Directorate, highlighted the importance of training in Customs’ work in general, as well as the need for Customs to use technology and tools, including detector dogs, to identify attempts at Customs fraud and smuggling.

Detector dogs in Hungary’s RDTC are trained in a range of specific areas, accompanied by dual training so they can detect more than one commodity.  Following on from this approach, a project has been launched this year to teach dual-trained dogs to search for banknotes as well.

In addition, the RDTC has developed close ties with the other Customs administrations in the region.  It not only sends delegations to share best practices and expertise, but also provides professional assistance and advice to other administrations when they are purchasing and training dogs.